Sunday, February 18, 2018

Happy Husky Day - a year with TJ

When I opened Facebook this morning I was greeted with a Facebook memory, the picture on the left was the first picture I had seen of TJ. This picture was posted by one of the HOWS Project volunteers announcing that we had agreed to take him in as a foster. TJ had been surrendered to them unexpectedly and they took him on the spot, not knowing where he was going. He came here, obviously, and he never left.
This was the first picture I saw of the famous
TJ smile. It was taken in a small car with four
women who had freed him from the chain.

My first impression of TJ was that he was in pretty good shape, and compared to a lot of dogs kept on chains he was, but on closer inspection he was rather thin, his coat was ragged, and he was lacking muscle tone. Good food and exercise sorted out all of that and otherwise he's been healthy as a horse, particularly for a 12, going on 13, year old dog. He's put on some good solid muscle weight and he's grown an incredibly thick, long, and luxurious coat.
This was TJ when he first arrived at our house.
He was looking a little rough.

His new coat grew in darker and much thicker.
We celebrated TJ's anniversary by doing what he likes best - hiking. It was cloudy, foggy, and chilly starting out. I was wearing shorts, but was actually wishing I had worn some gloves and I pulled up the hood on my sweatshirt occasionally. We went five miles for the first time in a while and by the time we finished the sun was out and it was turning into a beautiful day. Happy Husky Day.

He's a handsome dog, and look at that tail!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Indoor days

Although it was unseasonably warm at the end of the week, it's been wet and rainy, and now it's turned colder again. Consequently, more dogs are spending more time indoors.

Lenny is still firmly attached to Maya. I was hoping that his growing confidence on the trails and around the house would carry over in new situations, but I took him to meet someone new today and his shit himself again. On the plus side, he  had no problem with the cat.

I've mentioned before that Gigi's death has left a vacant spot in our bed at night that no other dog has stepped up to fill. We actually managed to get Sparky to take the spot one night and he was great, but he didn't repeat the next night.

He didn't eat this morning and spent all day in his crate with no interest in going outside. I finally got him down and out in the evening and offered his food again. He still didn't want to eat it, but he changed his mind when I added a generous ladle full of the turkey and noodle soup I made in the crockpot today. I'm going to try to get him to take the spot in bed again tonight.

I did get Maya and Lenny out for a short two mile walk on Friday. It was sort of raining, but not that much. We just walked the roadways through the park mostly, but we did follow part of the new disc golf trail too.

With a number of senior dogs around here, we always have some on medications. I have generally been using canned food to get the dogs to gobble up the pills and that usually works pretty well. I always liked the convenience of pill pockets, but the number of them that I need on a daily basis makes them cost prohibitive. I've seen recipes for homemade pill pockets and the rainy weather gave me a great opportunity to try them.

The recipes vary a bit, but most called for 2 parts flour, 1 part peanut butter, and 1 part milk (or water). I used water because I don't always have milk and I don't have to worry about the milk's expiration date. It mixes into a dough that works very well for encapsulating pills. The dogs down them in one gulp so I don't think anyone has missed a dose since I started using them and they are easier than dealing with canned food all the time. For the batch I made today I used two cups of flour, one cup of peanut butter, and one cup of water. Mix with a spoon and then I just worked it with my hands. Very easy and this should last me a couple weeks.

And here's just a few pictures of dogs lounging around, mostly in the bedroom.

From back to front, is Theo, Max, Trooper, Maya, and TJ.

Vince and Sparky in their usual positions over
on my side of the room.

Former foster Scarlett is staying with us again.
She usually stays in a crate in the office at night.
She's an easy houseguest and very well-mannered.

Maya doesn't hesitate to get up on the bed, but she gets down
when it's time to sleep. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Getting out when we can

The trails are muddy but we've been getting out when we can. The dogs get bored if we don't and I develop muscle cramps in my legs. Mostly they've been three mile hikes but yesterday I did a second short one and today we got in a little more than four miles before we began to run out of daylight.

We are walking mostly on the roads and a few select portions of the trail system that aren't too muddy.

I can manage three dogs fairly well, but Lenny is sort of all
over the place when we walk so he presents some challenges.
Lenny is benefiting from the hiking more than anyone. He's less timid and more inquisitive now. He's still scared of people and new things, but part of that is just that everything is new to him. He's developing some confidence on the trails now, at least, and I hope that will carry over to other areas. I need to take him to the downtown mall, maybe this weekend.

I love this picture for the gradation of size.

I'm not sure what this face means.

TJ is hoping for colder weather again.

Much better ear and tail carriage than we've seen from Lenny.

I got Sparky out for just under a mile yesterday.
He wanted to go, but that was far enough.

Maya and Lenny resting up.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Friends and Lovers

Happy Valentine's Day - 2018

Some are repeats, or classics. All say "I love you."

Maya and Trooper

Sparky giving me a kiss while hiking.

My little girl Maya.
Clay and I on a brewery tour in Asheville.
Trooper with his paw on Maya.

Me giving Maya a kiss on her head.

Lenny sharing a bed with Sparky. Sparky may not love this
but he's learned that getting along with other dogs is the price
for living inside where it's comfortable year round.

Yes, there's a lot of Maya & Trooper pictures.
Gunner and Carly (my most recent rottie foster).

Griff (former foster rottie), with a friend.

Former fosters Diesel and Drogo, sharing a sofa.
I posted this picture of Trooper on Valentine's Day last year.
All of the Trooper/Maya shots were set up by Maya. Trooper
would be laying there minding his own business and Maya
would push herself in next to him. 

Lenny positions himself next to Maya just like
Maya did with Trooper.